Ilhan Omar is a polarizing figure in the U.S. political scene that is both vilified and glorified. She’s been in the news for both good and bad reasons. Progressives have celebrated her rise from an activist to a congresswoman. She serves as a beacon of hope for millions of American Muslims and asylum seekers.
On the other hand, Omar is bombarded with a never-ending string of controversies – her remarks being labeled as anti-semantic, to state legislature complaints, to being Trump’s favorite target. She has strewn with racist attacks since taking up her position.
Her war of words with President Donald Trump started over her multiple comments criticizing the US-Israeli relationship. Omar supports the movement to boycott Israel and claims that AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), a pro-Israel lobbying group founded in 1963, has too much power over American policy in the Middle East.
Omar’s criticisms of Israel, particularly her tweet implying that support of Israel was “all about Benjamins” is accused of anti-Semitism. She later apologized and mentioned that her response is addressed to AIPAC.
Her constant criticisms against Israel resulted in her being banned by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to enter the country.
In September 2019 when the U.S. Supreme Court decided in favor of Trump’s administration rule to place new restrictions on claiming asylum in the U.S., the ruling pitted her again with President Trump. Being a refugee herself, Omar is deeply passionate about immigration policies. For her, asylum is a right. It’s not surprising that 43% of her sponsored bills primarily tackles the issue of International Affairs.
Omar introduced the No Ban Act which, in her words, combat Trump’s Muslim ban. She also co-sponsored the Yemen Wars Powers Resolution that aims to end the United States’ involvement in Yemen’s war.
When a video of Omar surfaced where she was heard comparing migrant shelters to dungeons, she was then questioned if she was comparing U.S. border agents to slave traders. Omar pointed out that the interview was just being sensationalized and clarified that the comment is not an attack on the border agents rather the point was about the family separation happening in the borders of Ghana, North Africa. It was not about humans being sold but that family separation is also happening in the U.S. borders.
She again reignited an immigration debate when she tweeted in April 2020 that illegal immigrants are American taxpayers. Her fierce stance that illegal immigrants deserve the American dream is a mission that she keeps on fighting since she came to office.
The personal life of Ilhan Omar has been the subject of perjury allegations since she was sworn in the office.
Persistent rumors that Omar isn’t even her real name as she allegedly piggybacked with an asylum approved Omar family. They are various claims that her real name, before applying for asylum, was Ilhan Nur Said Elmi. Allegations that Omar’s genetic family split up into two – one received an asylum to the United States which consists of Ilhan Nur Said Elmi (Ilhan Omar), her genetic sister Sahra, and her genetic father Nur Said. The three other children, including Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, managed to get asylum in the United Kingdom.
Another conspiracy theory that even the FBI is now looking into is that Omar married her brother in 2009 for him to gain entrance into the United States. Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, a UK national and the alleged brother was Omar’s second husband. They legally married in 2009. If found guilty, marriage fraud is punishable with a jail term of five years and a fine of up to $250,000. Omar has called the claim that Elmi is his brother as “disgusting lies”.
In November 2019, Omar’s divorce to Ahmed Hirsi was finalized. They have three children together. Omar married Tim Mynett, a political consultant who worked for her, in March 2020. This is after speculations that they were in a relationship after Mynett’s ex-wife accused her husband and Omar having an affair.
In February 2019, an FBI investigation was prompted when a graffiti “Assassinate Ilhan Omar” was found in a gas station restroom on Minnesota. In April 2019, Patrick Carlineo Jr., a Trump supporter, was arrested for death threats in a phone call to Omar’s office. Although Carlineo pleaded guilty, Omar asked the court to be lenient with him.
Omar increased her security, and blamed Trump for the increasing threats she’s been receiving following his false tweet claiming that she had partied during the 9/11 anniversary.
Two Republicans Congressional candidates, George Buck and Danille Stella, called for Omar to be executed. Buck was banned from Twitter, and Buck was removed from Republican’s gun program.